BAKED ZITI NO MEATY

                January 8, 2014

THE HUNGER JAMES OFFICIAL RATING:

This is my first post writing about something I made – so please, be good to me.

 

And those are the words I said to the box of ziti, jar of tomato sauce, and 4 different types of cheeses: Please be good to me.

 

I am not “a cook”. Meaning – I don’t cook. I am awful at it. I once made a grilled cheese and forgot the bread. There is a missing gene in my body that disables me from making a decent-tasting meal. A trait, I am sure, was passed down to me from my mother.

 

Mom, if you are reading this (which we all know you are my only follower) I apologize, but, let’s face it. When your mom makes cheeseburgers and your friends ask “what type of fish is this?” you know it’s bad.

 

With it being one week after the new year, I decided that I needed to stop being so “reliable” on red meat. Over the holiday, I consumed probably two whole cows (and one tiny calf) and it made me sick and exhausted. So, for the month of January, I am giving up red meat and trying to eat more chicken and turkey.

 

So, I woke up on Sunday morning without a hangover (a miracle for a Sunday) and decided to walk the 11 blocks in the cold to the supermarket and get the supplies to make Baked Ziti. Now, I am not a huge fan of this dish, but it is easy to make, tastes pretty good, and it is large enough that I can save it in Tupperware and have it for lunch the rest of the week.

 

I picked up all five ingredients from the store – costing me only $13.75. Whoa! That’s the price of an appetizer at the Outback! “I am definitely going to save money!” I exclaimed to the cashier who only spoke Spanish, so she replied with the usual, “Si, loco” … whatever that means.

When I got back to my apartment, I started the cooking process. Forgetting to take the chicken out of the freezer to de-thaw, I decided this dish would be best vegetarian. And, well, I didn’t have any other choice.I am not going to list the ingredients, tell you the steps on how to prepare it, or even what temperature I set my oven to. That’s boring and this isn’t a “Recipe Website”. So, deal with it.

 

I forgot to set a timer, so I just took the ziti out of the oven when the cheese was melted and the smoke alarms went off. It actually looked really good! I was excited to try it and see if I should quit my day job and become a full-time chef.

 

If this is the first post you have read of mine, I should let you know that I like cheese. Ok, I don’t like it, I love it. I love cheese so much, I want to take it behind the bleachers and get it pregnant. 

Ok, that was a little much. But, yes. Cheese.

 

So, you can only imagine how much cheese was included in this dish. Mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, and ricotta. I popped two of my Lactaid pills and dove right in.

 

I know that I am partially biased, but it was really good! The pasta was cooked all the way, the cheese all complimented each other, and you couldn’t even tell that the tomato sauce was passed it’s expiration date. All in all, I was very proud of myself and plan to cook a big meal like Baked Ziti every Sunday night.

 

But next time I won’t forget the meat.